Notes on the child I used to be

When I was a little girl I was obsessed with sex. 

I didn’t know exactly what it was but I had scattered clues gleaned from older children, careless parents whose bedroom doors didn’t lock, my mother’s “female health” book and a tattered Mills and Boon found somewhere.

My best friend and I hid behind the curtains in the window of my living room and pored over line drawings of penises and vaginas and wombs in profile. Giggling. Snickering. Terrified of being caught looking at bold things. 

Sometimes there would be a little boy over to play, his parents friends with mine, and we might play doctor. I don’t remember very much except that I thought it was fun to play doctor and I didn’t feel at all weird about cold plastic stethoscope or thermometer.

I wasn’t clear about sex, about bodies, about intimacy… but I was very aware at a young age that you couldn’t be too eager or make suggestions. I knew I would always be more weird than other people and so I took a passive role, delighting if someone else’s mind allowed for us to do something bolder and more likely to get us in trouble. I’m not necessarily talking about sexual activity, I wouldn’t really call playing doctor or playing “more realistic” house, sexual activities. But across the board, I was adventurous, curious, and only behaved myself if there was a real risk of getting in trouble.

I dreamt of sex as a child. I wasn’t molested or corrupted by any adult, but sex was on my mind. It wasn’t a bad thing, in my mind. It was an exciting, mysterious part of adult life and like all things adult and prohibited I wanted it immediately. 

I was an impatient child. I snuck cider from my mother’s glass when she wasn’t looking and pretended to smoke cigarettes made from rolled up note paper. My mother noticed I loved those candy sticks a bit too much because they looked like child-sized cigarettes in a box, and I wasn’t bought them any more. I wanted to be an adult. 

At this point I didn’t share my thoughts with my friends. Again, I was aware that somehow I was weirder than most. Maybe I wasn’t afraid of the places my mind would go. I wasn’t afraid of where my thoughts might lead me, until I was 12 or 13 and developed the very real fear that if I let my imagination run wild, I might find out I was a lesbian.

I loved breasts. I thought about breasts. Hard nipples, full breasts.

I couldn’t tell if I was just jealous of people who had them- my modest handfulls didn’t come in until I was eighteen, and they didn’t really get that nice round shape until I was in my twenties. They were high up but droopy, with big soft nipples, very big for a white girl I thought, and formed a pyramid shape. I hated them. 

So I thought about breasts. I wasn’t sure if I just wanted to have them or if I wanted to hold them. But I was a teenager and the real worry, the idea of how AWFUL life would be if I were a lesbian… the idea lodged itself there. I started to close my mind off at the edges, keeping my thoughts inside the box for the first time in my life. Afraid, terrified that in one more way I would find myself to be different.

I was already an atheist, my parents weren’t married, I was unbaptised and my family was international. I spoke three languages and I didn’t have brothers or sisters. All together, I was the weird, strange child. I didn’t want to be more strange. God, it was hard enough building myself up to resist the mere fact of being different…. in ways that would later turn out to be positive, mostly.

I didn’t want to be a lesbian. I wished at night. PLEASE DON’T LET ME BE A LESBIAN. 

But breasts were lovely, and I thought about them. Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears came out with their first albums. Christina was pure and sexy in a genie in a bottle. I thought about her. The lines between being her and touching her were blurred in my fantasies. I didn’t know what I wanted.

there was a mounting sense of frustration.

I thought about my friends sexually. Not my girlfriends- that was a sort of taboo. I thought about the boys I played with, who I was playing with less and less as it became clear that sooner or later we would have to part ways and become awkward teenagers. 

I thought about them at night.

I was maybe eight or nine, and I had this dream….

Of a dungeon. It was’t a dungeon really, it was nice.

Before I figured out how to masturbate, I guess my frustration was so high, I learnt to control my dreams. Sometimes I could choose to go to my dungeon. At night I would wake up in my dream. In my bed. The wall against my bed was made of jelly, but only I knew this. No one could pass through it except at my invitation. I would slip through the wall and find myself in a dungeon. 

Stone walls, a fireplace. Fur rugs. Candles on the walls. A huge round bed covered in red and purple and black drapes. This was my aesthetic vision when I was a child.

In my dungeon I was an adult woman, curvy, beautiful. Long, thick hair like a 1970s star. Big breasts. HUGE breasts. I went naked in my dungeon or else I would wish myself into beautiful dresses. Sometimes I would wish myself into clothes that were just corsets or rope wrapped around me, squeezing my breasts and my skin… 

I have no idea where I got these images from. Perhaps vampire movies? Probably vampire movies.

In my dungeon I would be like a goddess.

I would wish dozens of men to come and queue. I would inspect them one by one. I was rude to them. No, no, no… Go home. Stop wasting my time.

Then I’d kiss one. Yes, you can stay. Maybe. I sometimes wore skin tight catsuit type outfits. I was a sexy, adult dominatrix. I kissed all the boys I liked, and then I’d fuck them. Usually when I was just about to fuck them in my sexy adult body in my sex dungeon, the alarm clock would go off and I’d wake up in my stupid little girl body with my stupid little girl life and I had to put on my uniform and go to school and talk to my little girl friends about Harry Potter or Pokemon or whatever we were into at the time. When I put on my uniform I had to take off my pyjamas and I had these little girl titties that were so awful, just flabby nipples. God I hated looking at myself. In my dream I was this sex queen. In real life I was just this awkward girl with puppy fat that was far too young for anyone (that wasn’t a paedophile) to want to fuck her, and of course in real life I wouldn’t even think of actually doing anything sexual. It was a separate, secret part of my mind.  I didn’t actually WANT someone to have sex with me. I just wanted to be an adult already and have men fall at my feet and worship me and do what I said.

In reality little boys, little freckled stupid boring boys, would tell me to shut up because I talked too much and when they finally started fancying girls, they treated me like a boy and talked about my prettier friends. 

It took me so… fucking… long… to get where I dreamed of being.

And now I’m older I don’t WANT to stand before I queue of men, deciding which was yes and which was no, and demeaning them all with my power. And yet I could. Because I’ve grown up. I don’t have those massive breasts I dreamt of as a child but I have a woman’s body and I’m comfortable in it. I’ve battled my thoughts and those edges of the box, I’ve come to terms with my love of breasts and I know I’m not a lesbian. And if I was a lesbian, I wouldn’t give a shit. I’ve started digging into the darker corners of my mind and what I find there isn’t scary or disturbing. It’s just me. I’m not afraid of what I’ll find there. 

Since I started to dig deeper, beyond my pure and simple love of a good ride, I’ve found myself in interesting situations, exciting situations. I’ve been dabbling in BDSM. I haven’t reported on that because I’ve been quite consumed with it and haven’t felt inspired to write a report of being tied up and spanked….

I just felt like writing this now. Maybe I’ll write about the other things, but this is what I felt like writing so here it is.

Farewell to my conical dog

My dog of 13 years, the best dog in the world as far as my family and non-dog owner friends are concerned, has been rapidly getting older and slower and more arthritic. My mum called me today and told me through tears that our dog fell over today and just couldn’t get her feet back under her. The vet who’s looked after her since she was a puppy and seen her through countless operations because dammit that animal never got any sense, always running out and getting hit by cars… well, the vet said “you have to let that dog keep her dignity.”

And my mum is going to put her down tonight, or maybe tomorrow, I’m waiting on an update. But oh, I’m so so sad. When she first told me I was mostly just sad for my mum because the dog has been like a replacement child since I left home, and she’s my mum’s friend and companion and she’s really part of the family. But then I started really thinking back and to realise the full weight of her part in my life…

We got her when I was 12. I had a bunch of cats before that but they kept getting hit by cars and dying in the same spot near our house and I was so heartbroken, I said no more cats! I don’t know why I thought  it would be easier to lose a dog, but hey. I was 12, and I had loved those cats so much I couldn’t imagine a stupid dog would worm its way into my heart so easily.

The other reason for getting a dog was that as a 12 year old with not a whole lot of friends, I had this fantasy that if i had a puppy, I would be out walking my cute puppy and all the young attractive guys would be hanging out and they’d see my puppy and pet it and ask me questions and then ask me out or something. I don’t know, I guess I thought life was like in sex and the city where even if you look like a giant tanned foot, the world was full of good looking peope ready to make a move if you just give them a meet cute.

I begged my parents to let me get a dog. They said no, a dog is so much hard work. You have to walk it every day. You have to train it. I said yes, I promise, I’ll walk it everywhere. All the time. I pictured myself with my dog hanging out with the cool kids and my dog protecting me from rapists and barking at people who wanted to get all up in my grill. And I’d train my dog so well it would be able to do amazing tricks and then I’d have even more friends. And my dog would be a hero dog. To my parents I played up on the whole protection, defence, and I’d be getting some outdoor excercise aspects. They believed me. For some reason.

I remember the day I picked out this shivering little puppy from a group of its yelping brothers and sisters who were all shitting and jumping up at me. She was the little sad looking one, extremely cute, the size of my hand, so goddamn cute… She was a little sad puppy and she was so afraid and I took her home and she shat all over me but I didn’t care too much because she was so cute and little.

She was so afraid at first I felt guilty for taking her from her family and I gave her my sweatshirt to sleep with because it smelt like me, and I cleaned up after her and fed her and cared for her. We soon realised she wasn’t the sweet, scared, runt of the litter. She was riddled with worms. Once the worms were all gone which was not a pretty few days…. we discovered the kind of animal we had committed to. She didn’t just want a little shuffle down the cul-de-sac, she wanted to climb mountains and run up hills and swim in the sea and she wanted the ball thrown for her a million times a day and she never lost it even when I tried to hide it from her because it was gross and covered in slime. If I had kept this activity up I would have probably been quite fit…

Except I soon got bored of the repetitive nature of responsibility and maybe got a new sims game and my mum stepped in and raised the puppy. I was still there for the fun times and for cuddles but frankly after a couple of short, boring walks with my extremely cute dog, I realised it might have been a good conversation starter but that didn’t help the fact that there were no hunks or gangs of cool, friendly pre-teens in my area.

So my mum was responsible for feeding her, walking her, washing her, etc. The job of disciplinarian… well I guess no one thought of that. My dog was fun, great with kids, great at  dealing with parties, sociable, playful, sweet, loving, but she didn’t exactly follow any orders, ever. But she was very sweet and gentle.

When I was a teenager and boys were mean and broke my heart or didn’t call or didn’t treat me nicely, or girls were bitchy and left me out, when I wasn’t invited to a party or someone said “god Abby do you ever shut up?” or someone accidentally said something that I had a great personality which was more important than looks, or my parents yelled at me…

My dog was there, not understanding but just resting her pointy long nose on my knee and pushing me over the edge into tears. I cried so many tears into her silky fur, hugging her tight and wishing she could talk so we could be friends, because I knew she’d be the best friend ever. She was there for me all the time. She had person eyes, understanding soft brown eyes like a person. I sang songs to her, silly nonsensical songs about how she was a dog, how she looked like a dog, and how she looked like an aardvark, and how she was my conical dog as when she sat on her back legs and you pointed her nose up in the air she was shaped like a traffic cone. I liked to speak in a weird accent and say “ears” and fold her ears on top of her head. She has very silky ears. All these weird little things we do with our dogs. They just sit their, no idea what we’re doing, and put up with it and love us.

She’s still alive now but she’s so old and tired and destroyed from 13 years of kicking ass in the dog world. She’s nearly died so many times due to reckless behaviour but she’s always bounced back. Now her legs are so fucked, she can’t stand up, and I guess tomorrow she’ll be gone.

I’m not a huge animal person, I like animals in the wild, doing their own thing. I’m not a huge dog person, I like dogs but I’m not a dog person. But it really does hurt like fuck when you lose someone special in your life, even if they are just a dog.  Yeah, just a dog- she’s the only one in my family who never gave me any shit.

Wow, I did not aniticipate being so fucking upset. I wish I was there to say goodbye, not that it means anything but fuck, I feel awful that I’m not there right now. I’m going to miss her like crazy when I go home…

And my mum is going to be absolutely heartbroken.

 

Instead of going out to look for a job today, I wrote this post about how I really need a job

Everything’s going peachy. I found a place to live with six interesting, different, funny housemates. The house is big and clean and warm, and the kitchen is always full of good smells and people to share food with. There’s a box of red wine with a little tap and a garden out the back, and fuck me, this is perfect.

My French is getting better. In four months I’ve learnt more French than I learnt Italian in two years. I make little jokes in French. Not great sophisticated jokes but I’m starting to be able to express myself and make people laugh, which is more than I hoped for at this stage.

Antoine has settled into my life as my boyfriend, not perfect, not always present but a definite cherry on top of a fulfilling social life when he is around.

I’m happy.

I’m happy… but I can’t find a fucking job.

I haven’t put THAT much energy into the job hunt, it’s true.

I haven’t been out monday to friday pushing my cvs and posting ads… I’ve never had to do that, and a few months of unemployment really saps your motivation, so it’s hard to start.

Whenever I’ve looked for a job before, I’ve done it online and found a shitty but financially decent job in a few days. It’s been a month now, a month of trawling the internet and kicking myself for not doing more physical jobhunting.

But it’s haaaaaard!

I’m intelligent, I’m a qualified English teacher, I speak four fucking languages. GIVE ME A JOB! I’m not even fussy. I just want to do something and get some money coming in because fuck, soon I’ll have to ask for more money from my family and I hate that.

And the thing is, I feel so damn entitled, it just makes it harder to get up early and go do what it takes to probably find work.

Ever since I was little…

I mean, I was a very clever child. I was always top of my class and I never did any work. I think this might have damaged my work ethic. Or meant I failed to ever get one.

When I was a child, I came home from school and then did whatever I felt like doing for the rest of the evening. If I had homework, then maybe I’d do it in ten minutes or maybe I wouldn’t bother at all. I was good at bullshitting. A lot of homework was corrected by the teacher asking us random questions. If you could think on the spot, you could get away with it. So every weekday I got home around 4pm and had around 5 hours to myself, and then I got older and my homework got harder but the teachers were less motivated to check up on us. I didn’t do my homework and maybe I got in more trouble but it didn’t really matter because I still did better than my classmates at tests and exams and on the spot questionning.

And still the workload grew and the teachers smiles and enthusiasm faded and we were teenagers and I got into more trouble but it started to give me a sense of power, being in trouble. I got labelled a nerd because I was in the top class, and I didn’t want to be in the top class because it was full of try hards with no sense of humour or social skills. I didn’t have great social skills either but I wanted to get a life, I wanted to flirt and make jokes and talk about sex and not caring about school was about the only thread of coolness I knew to tug on. 

By the time I got a social life and a group of cool friends who weren’t ashamed to study and do their work, it was too late.

I had grown used to those endless afternoons of time wastage, the decadence of the weekends with nothing to feel guilty about, the only interruption to my fun, free life was monday mornings and even then I was pretty good at avoiding classes.

When the cotton wool came off and the dumped us out into the world I made it one semester into college before realising that my presence wasn’t going to cut it any more. I tried for about a week to STUDY. I got some books and a notepad and tried to copy what my friends were doing but what the fuck were they doing? How did they know this odd skill, writing out bits of the book onto a notepad in clear, concise, multicoloured sections? Were they really going to read back over that shit later? And if the bits you needed to study were handwritten in the notepad, why didn’t they just print a coursebook with that information? I had no fucking clue how to study and I still don’t. My classmates presumed this was me joking around, or pretending to do less work so I’d seem naturally smart. I came across a lot of people who did that. OH MY GOD I totally didn’t study, Arrrgh! And then they’d come out with an 86% on a college history paper, and I know that’s bullshit because our lectures only skimmed the topics, there was no way you could pull an A out of purely absorbing what you heard in class. It was all, go to the library and check out 10 books and filter through them with some mysterious…. how exactly did everyone know where to look, what to look for, what parts to copy out, how to write so neatly?

Since I was 10 I had been handing my essays in to doting teachers on crumpled, food stained loose pages with my handwriting getting smaller and smaller and the reading direction indicated with arrows as I ran out of space on the only page I could find in my mother’s car on monday morning, and had to go back into unused white space at the top.

And hey, I’m not saying I was sooo fucking special here, just that my school wasn’t very big and most of the smart kids in my area went to better schools, except for me because I stubbornly insisted on going where my friends were going, friends I immediately fell out with, I’d like to add….

but everyone else seemed to have learnt these skills to deal with a workload that didn’t even register with me. Teachers liked me when I was young and they let me get away with everything because I read a lot, I was interested, polite, I loved learning and although I was extremely argumentative I was also a really sweet and socially awkward little girl. I don’t know if they thought I was a genius or just felt sorry for me because I didn’t have any brothers or sisters or ahem, many friends… but I snuggled into the preferential treatment and here I am today, too lazy and entitled to do the hard work that life requires. 

Fuck me.

 

No Soup for ME!

I’m sick!

I like insect porn.

Nah I’m only joking, I have the flu. Or something. Does anyone even know the difference between the flu and a cold?

I mean obviously some people do, but most of the time I find that when I’m feeling a bit sniffly, I call it a cold. When I’m disgusting and in tatters, it’s a flu. I don’t know if everyone else does this but it seems like that’s the way we distinguish one from the other, and it’s obviously wrong because the flu is a virus.. oh wait, I decided to take a google break and research that shit. So actually both are viruses, I feel stupid now. I always thought a cold was what happened to people who went around with no slippers on or who didn’t dry their hair properly, this is what my mother always told me. SO YOU ARE WRONG MOTHER. I suppose going around in inadequate clothing and having wet hair is probably going to lower your defences but it doesn’t cause a cold perse, so in your FACE mum!

Anyway I checked myself against this chart http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A1032102

And I have a cold. I’m a little disappointed because I feel like flu sounds stronger and more debilitating, but my body’s producing snot like fucking Hello Kitty merchandise, and apparently that’s the dominion of the cold virus alone.

Motherfucker I feel shitty.

Today I have a 10 hour shift again, this time on my own, and I am bracing myself for the most unproductive, painful day ever. I don’t know which is worse- this, or being hung over. No, being hung over is worse. This cold is not making me feel guilty at all.

In fact, having a cold is like a remover of guilt.

While I’m sick, I will do exactly the same shit as I always do. I will be borderline hostile and unhelpful with customers. I will eat in bed when I get home. I will watch movies and play oblivion. I will not clean my house. I will not pay those fucking bills that are overdue.

But I don’t feel bad about it now, because I’m sick, you can’t expect me to do shit when I’m sick, can you?

Forget about the rest of the time, this is my moment to revel in my awful behaviour.

There is something missing of course from the experience of sickness. As an adult, it’s not the same.

When I was a lazy little child, I used to love nothing more than a tickly throat or swollen glands. It meant dragging the duvet out into the living room. setting up camp on the couch- I wasn’t normaly allowed the duvet on the couch, but it was the best thing ever. It was so comfy and enveloping. I would have, like three pillows with me, when in usual sleeping arrangements I was only allowed one. My mother had some definite idea about things like that. She also refused to buy me a game console because games were bad for you. Why couldn’t we play something nice, with little characters running around picking flowers for each other or helping out around the house? Why was it all killing and stealing? Anyway the joke’s on her because I got a pc instead, and eventually I got emulators for ALL THE CONSOLES. Mwah ha ha. I never played outside again, and I have the pasty face to prove it.

Anyway I’d nestle into my comfort area and make feeble demands. My mother is the sort of mother who will buy any bullshit fake sickness, but you have to SOUND sick. I had to keep this weak, croaky fake voice on all day or she would diagnose me ALL BETTER. Then fun’s over. Get that duvet back to your room. Call your friend, see if there’s homework you can catch up on.

If I wanted a full day of sick treatment, and homemade vegetable soup with crusty bread and mountains of glorious butter, and hot lemon and honey to drink and vhs of Seinfeld taped off the telly, then I had to put on a real production.

It was so worth it, but it was extremely tiring.

It would begin thusly: I would wake up, all warm and snug in my bed. I would run through the extreme misery of getting up, getting dressed into my horrible polyester Catholic school uniform (guys, the skirt was very very long, nothing sexy there) pressed against the radiator because it was so fucking cold in my house. Then I would stare at a bowl of cereal of my choosing, and feel nauseous. I have never been hungry in the mornings. I need to be awake at least an hour before I can eat. My mother would give out to me saying “You PICKED cheerios, I thought you LIKED them!” and I would be like, yeah but only because you gave me a choice between Cheerios and some other bullshit without any chocolate. I would happily eat coco pops. I would. But no.

Anyway, after this I would be driven to the bus stop which was a good stomp away from the house. I was supposed to walk to the bus but I usually didn’t because I dragged my heels until I would be too late and I’d have to get a lift. Then the horrible bus with fat Susan, my only young neighbour so I couldn’t get rid of her… who was sweet but incredibly thick. She always had these stories she would huff out at me, unable to express even the simplest of concepts in her own words. It was all… ummm you know her… what yesterday… you know they did all the numbers… her who… you know your one who was in, you know you’re one who got in?” And this meant, in Susan- speak, “They counted the votes last night, and a new president was elected.” And it was exhausting. She also called giraffes “giraffe-ts” and hospital “hopsital”. She wasn’t properly special, she just lived with her mother and aunt and grandparents who were all equally fat and thick. She works in a factory now, I think. One time I went home to see my mum and she told me the local gossip: the mother and aunt of Susan had killed their father over a Yorkie bar. Apparently the two she- Huts used to beat the shit out of their dad, and this once it was over a Yorkie bar he wouldn’t share or had eaten or something, and they beat him up but he died of his injuries. And they couldn’t get his life insurance money because the death was suspicious with all the bruising. I don’t guarantee this is a true story, but it is probably the best local gossip story my mother has ever bored me with, so there it is.

Anyway.

So I would lie in bed on a winter morning and think over all these awful experiences lying ahead of me, day after day. My awful teachers. My obnoxious peers and friends who weren’t in the same classes as me because I was CLEVER so I had to be in the nerd class with all the horrible nerds who were definitely not smarter than my friends- they were just goody two shoes teachers pets who had no games consoles either so they did lots of school work.

And I would think, when was the last time I was off sick? Hmm… months? Ok… it’s about time I had a “me” day.

I would sneak out of my room, hug the radiator and press my forehead against it until I had a believable fever. I would rub and rub at my eyes until they were puffy. I would do little croaky voice excercises. And I’d think HOT thoughts so I could maintain the temperature on my forehead until my mother came by. I would wait until I heard her stirring in the other room, and I would dash back to bed.

She would come in and I’d be all groggy. “Muuummm… I don’t feeeeeel weeeeeell” and she would be like, yeah right, you just don’t want to go to school.

And I’d lay it on thick.

“No… I’m ok… I don’t need to stay home, just… I feel really warm, can you get me some water? I’ll be fine..”

And the mothering instinct would kick in. DIDNT JUST ASK TO STAY HOME? HMM! Maybe she IS sick!

And she’d check my temperature. “Oh god you are really warm, let me get the thermometer.” So I’d sweatbox myself under the covers until she got back, and breathe condensation onto my hands and clammy up my forehead. She’d take my temperature and sure enough, I’d have a mild fever. But that wasn’t enough. I had to do the sick voice. I had to sit up and get the spins and pretend to feel cold every now and then even though I was very hot. I had to drink the teas and take the cough syrup from the healthy store that tasted like rust and mumbo jumbo, even though I didn’t have a cough.

I would maintain my intention to go to school of course, just after I felt a little better. My mum would believe me now, so she would decide to make soup. My mum makes amazing soup. It’s the only way she could make me eat vegetables as a child. I hated vegetables, but loved soup. Anyway soon she was making soup, and I heard her joyfully clattering around the kitchen, deliriously happy as a mother to have a sick but not too sick child to care for. This was her calling. She’s a fabulous mother but nowadays all the mothering she gets to do is when I drink too much and then she cleans up my puke, which is incredibly rare but it’s the most amazing feeling in the world, being an adult and having someone clean up your puke for you. I miss my mum.

Anyway once she was making soup, I could relax. I wasn’t going to school, I was getting better dammit, I needed my vegetables and my vitamin c. And all I had to do was maintain red puffy eyes and a croaky voice for the rest of the day. Then I was allowed gradually perk up in the evening. But not too much, or my mum was ready to suspect foul play. Then my stepdad would come home from work, and he never believed me for a second. But he didn’t really say anything, he’d just watch my mother radiant with caring, with a bemused look on his face. He just motivated me to bring it down a notch, lose the flourishes and make my performance more subtle.

And the only problem with my sick days, was the fact that sometimes I would actually get sick the week after. And then I would be treated with great suspicion. I would have to add the fake sick effects to my real illness, or no one would believe me. So every time I was sick, I had to expend all this effort making it the most impressive cold ever, and if I happened to get a temperature without a sore throat, I’d have to croak anyway.

But effort and deceipt aside, I miss my sick days.

It was really nice for me. I had the tv and all the special nice food I could want. My mum was super nice to me. All those hours in school, they were worth so much more at home. I loved being at home. And then sometimes I would request something exotic, boldly taking advantage of my patient status. I would ask for blackcurrant flavoured panadol cold and flu medicine, or mango and pineapple juice. Or books from the library to fill those few hours where all the tv offered were dopey female chat shows and Barney. And my mum would drive me around town with my duvet in the back seat. And I’d watch all the emptyness of the town without the uniformed teens, and the quietness and I’d amaze at all the people who had these hours to themselves every day, like housewives and the self employed and the unemployed. I was hugely jealous. I wanted to be an adult and watch tv all day and play computer games and eat soup with lots of buttery bread.

And now I’m an adult and I work school hours ever day, plus Friday and Saturday double shifts. Then I have one month instead of three for my holidays, I work double all through Christmas, and no one makes me soup, I have to make my own. (I make awesome soup just like my mum) And worst of all, when I’m sick, I can’t just stay home. I’m sick today but if I don’t come in here and sneeze on the customers, the shop will be shut. In an emergency, like I’m REALLY sick, I can pull a sickie and someone will be drafted in to replace me. But I have to save those times up for when I’m REALLY sick. It also costs me money to be sick. I have to buy my medicine and it’s expensive. I can’t just give in to the bug and lie at home all happy and lethargic. I have to stand here like a snotty totem pole and dispense groggy pleasantries to customers in a real sick voice. I wish my mother was here to touch my forehead and tell me I don’t have to go to school.

I work for my dad, but I would need green costume makeup and big X’s in place of my eyes like a manga character for him to notice I was too sick to work.

He doesn’t have the same instinct as a mother. He thinks when you’re sick you should sleep, and he’s probably right but then what’s the point? Miss out on all those free hours? No way.

I’m starting to formulate a plan, like maybe I’m too sick for working tomorrow. But I don’t have the same zeal for planning my sickies like I used to. I’m grown up now. I don’t even have to put on a voice any more or rub my eyes, I just tell an adult I am sick and they believe me. It’s insanely easy. But I don’t, because I feel all guilty about having to haul a replacement in last minute, and then what if I get really really sick soon? Urgh feel shitty. Want to go home. Can’t. Stupid adulthood.

I miss my mum.

I had a boyfriend for a year who I treated kind of like crap, and he was kind to me when I felt sick. One time I took these hallucinogenic seeds with my flatmates, and I had a really awful reaction and I lay by the electric fire in a sleeping bag with a duvet on, shivering with my teeth chattering, too weak to move… I tried to get to bed by crawling in my blankets like a worm across the floor. My flatmates thought I was being comical, because fair enough it’s the sort of thing I’d do if there was maybe a lull in conversation… they laughed but I had razor blades in my head and my arms wouldn’t work or my legs. I had to buckle my mid section up and down, and slowly painfully I moved towards the door… then I got the door open with my mouth, I think. I made it to my bedroom and couldn’t get that door open. I called my flatmates and one of them (the nice one I don’t hate with a passion) brought me my phone and stopped laughing when he saw how distraught I was. I called my boyfriend and made him walk from his house to my apartment, pick up various things I needed to feel better, and come take care of me.

He walked to my house even though this was our night of sensible people not spending too much time together and he was playing Rome: Total War. We tried to play Age of Empires together but he was too shit at that and I thought Total War was crap, so we played alone. I liked this arrangement really because, I don’t like having some dude all up in my grill all the time. I like sex and cuddling, but I really really like when they gtfo of my house and I can stew in my own filth and stop pretending to have any interests in life other than laughing at shit and lying down, eating.

He came to look after me and I ordered him around. I asked for cheese, imagining happily how great it would be when he brought me little cubes of cheddar like my mother used to make. Maybe with cocktail sticks, but I didn’t care. Cheese was going to be exactly the right thing for me, it was going to make me feel whole again.

He brought me cheese- the whole block, cut into…. gasp…. SLICES. I burst out crying and flung the cheese away, quivering in disappointment. NOT LIKE THAAAAAAT! I wailed. I WAN…WAN…WANTED CUBES!

And I cried and this poor guy, wow he put up with me for a whole year. I think if he had been more of an asshole like my husband, I might not have stomped all over him. He took too much crap from me. I think if he saw what kind of doormat husband made me, he wouldn’t believe it.

I was the megabitch.

Oh man, that would be the BEST movie to watch today all sick and home and warm and comfy. Drop dead Fred.

Damn it I wanna go home. My dad just called to ask about what we need in the shop and I sniffled and sneezed and no dice, I’d have to outright ASK for the day off, and it’s too last minute. I’d look like an amateur asking to go home because I’m sick. Ah well. I’m resigning myself to just getting on with it, sit down on the stairs for a while and look forward to 3pm when I can fuck off for half an hour and get some cold medicine and some unhealthy food because you can’t get healthy food for lunch here unless you eat lunch at 1pm because that’s lunch time and I get a stupid lunch at 3 or 3.30. Anyway I have talked about being sick for a long time now it was not my intention but I’m bored and lonely at work and feel sorry for  myself.

It took me longer to come up with this title than to write the whole post.

My holiday didn’t end in a bang, as I expected, but with a whimper.

I went to work today and I smiled at customers and I wanted to smack them in their faces, and I didn’t clean and I picked out things I liked in the catalogues for the season… and the whole world around me just acted like this was normal, normal behaviour.

I felt like more emphasis should have been put on my personal tragedy, the return to misery and loneliness.

Doesn’t anyone want to interview me? Or make a documentary about it?

People in work don’t seem to get the hugeness of my first day back.

I wonder why I’m so intent on other people acting like what happens in my life is in any way important, when I can barely raise a “oh wow that’s too bad” when they tell me about their difficulty finding shoes for such a difficult shape of foot.

Is it some remnant of my childhood, of everyone’s childhood, when you go back to school and the countdown is begun a few weeks into your holidays… back to school back to school new year, new class, new teachers, new books…. Everyone asks you all the time, how do you feel about going into next year? How do you feel? Are you excited? Are you nervous? School starting soon… wow!

And I kind of expect that now.

I just want attention and for people to be impressed by the super hardships I have to endure, and be even more impressed by the fact that I even got up this morning because man that was difficult.

You know what else is difficult?

Not opening the lovely wine in my kitchen.

I feel my little evil wheedler piping up.

It was your first day back, it’s a common way to unwind. You could have a glass and put the cork back in for another day.

But it’s prosecco, it’ll lose its fizz.

Ah but you can have a glass tomorrow and another the next day.

Yeah but then I’m having wine every night, so fuck off, you lose, man my inner bad influence can be shit at arguing sometimes.

Ok but what about, it’s tasty and you don’t have anything else to drink?

But I like drinking water.

Yeah but your lovely big water tankard broke, remember? What are you going to have a small glass of water? Boo. Plus, you had like 2 litres today, I know, I saw you.

Yeah well…

Oh wait, that’s weird.

I have only peed once today.

That’s fucking weird, I drank LOADS of water.

What’s going on?

Where did all the water go? There should definitely be more pee.

I’m not going to drink the wine.

I’m not, I’m going to drink just a small bit of water in a small glass and then if I’m still thirsty… I’ll have a tea.

Yes. That’s the one.

Damn there’s nothing lonelier than wanting booze and not having the excuse of company. Anyway… I’m back in talk to self mode. One day down, only another 120 or so left before I maybe can move country. Oh man I’m so broke. Also, I bought a pair of shoes today.

I HATE MYSELF.

Nah, not really. If I wasn’t me, I’d probably be really impressed.

That’s the trouble though.

I don’t just have an ego or low self esteem, I have a MASSIVE ego and CRIPPLING low self esteem.

They just attack me at random. I’m either wildly overconfident and think everyone wants to fuck me and anyone who doesn’t, it’s probably because I look like their sister or something. Yeah that’s it. And then in a few minutes I could be like, holy fuck, I’m as deluded as Sarah Jessica Parker. Maybe I look like a foot? Maybe I’m just really really ugly and it’s just like back when I was 15 and that night I went to a party and kissed the three hottest guys there and I was all proud and thought I was shit hot with my unibrow and my slutty boots and then the next day I found out it was a bet they made to see who could make out with me quickest, cause I was so easy.

Yeah.

Ok I’m going to have some pasta and ponder on some stuff.

I’m sorry to be so introspective all the time. Or maybe that’s ok. I don’t fucking know. I don’t know, oh maaaan if I was a fairy godmother and got to give a little princess three gifts, it would be like

“that she is ACTUALLY the best looking woman in the world, ever”

“that she is invincible and strong so none of the other women or jealous rejected men can kill her”

“that she is completely free from paranoia”

 

That, my friends, is fucking superwoman, right there.

Oh actually no, a better third gift would be: that she can read minds. Then she wouldn’t have to be paranoid, she’d just know what people thought. Or actually no, that would suck. I don’t REALLY want to know what people think of me. I know I think a lot of mean shit about people I love, so I really wouldn’t want to know theirs…. Well I don’t really need to debate this with myself because, uhm, it’s not going to happen. I’m never going to actually be in a position of fairy godmother to a baby princess, and even if I was a fairy godmother and even if my mates were a king and queen, there is no fucking WAY any of my friends would let me near their kid, let alone decide its three traits at birth.

But I’m pretty confident with the three gifts apart from a few kinks in the last one. I may actually ponder this some more, because I have made a deal with myself where I’m only allowed think about frivolous things until the 7th of October when my hearing is, and then I can start thinking about my real problems again. So yeah, no boo hoos or poor mes or anything until then, because I honestly haven’t a clue how poor or sorry I really am until that magical date.

So, bring on the fluff.

I honestly think that like 99% of all women are miffed that they aren’t actually the best looking woman in the world.

I honestly do. And then there is 1% of people who so rarely come into contact with people better looking than them, that they can be all well adjusted and cool about looks and do things like really mean it when they congratulate a friend for losing weight.

Ok right, I’m bored.

You probably are too.

Good night.

Me ma’s selective memory

My mother forgot:

– That I have a weird freakout about watery foods touching butter in sandwiches. Like, tomatoes can’t touch butter, or gross. Or cucumber and butter. Solution, yeah I know, make my own fucking sandwich. I’m aware that I’m bitching about having my mum do something nice for me.

– That I don’t go for walks. I’m sorry, fuck walking. I always found walking uber boring and would never accompany my mother, but now that I know how to cycle, it has an added dimension of shitness that is, this fresh air and countryside would actually be really enjoyable if only I had my bike. It’s like she thinks all the creases in my personality she never ironed out for me while actively parenting, have just magically sorted themselves out now I’m a grown up.

– That we don’t have a cool mother-daughter gal-pals kind of relationship. We get along, I love my mum, she’s awesome, in a lot of ways I’d love to be more like her, just not enough to actually do something about it. But we don’t have that relationship. We go shopping together and I have to bite chunks out of my knuckles as she purchases items like A FUCKING SCRUNCHIE. Sorry, but, a scrunchie. Yeah. And then I’m trying on something NON slutty, like quite elegant… and my mother goes “it’s NICE…. It’s just a bit… it’s not very you.” Thanks. I was just trying to look like a classy fucker for a second there. But actually, she’s right. I would never have worn a midi skirt.

My mother will never forget:

– That I played with pokemon.

– That I had those gross, ugly, asshole, dickhead, weirdo, unhygienic boyfriends. And how much I LOVED them. And their names. And where the photos are of us. Things I would rather pretend never happened, and always “ooh you know who I saw drive past the other day? Derek… you remember Derek? He’s still looking the same… weird..”

And I pretend for a second I’m furrowing my brow… uh… but if I pause too long before remembering Derek the goth, she’ll start adding cringey details to spark my memory. Please no more. I was young. I don’t deserve this shit.

– ALL the children I ever shared a single year of school with. Kids I haven’t seen since we were 6. And these are mentioned casually.

“You know Jessie, well she’s got a new car, a little Punto. You know the new punto?” And I’m like, who the fuck is Jessie? And then she’ll furnish full name, relationship status, health details, and a rundown of all Jessie’s recent drama. And seriously I have just the vaguest recollection of a little mousey girl I might have spent one year not really speaking to before we disappeared into our separate lives and never saw each other again. Everyone who went to my school, even if it was long before my education or long since.

Everyone has an instant c.v. in my mother’s head, ready to be rattled off. And it used to be, they were all scanning groceries with dead eyes, significantly fatter than when last we were desk neighbours, but nowadays, the old college education is beginning to bump some of their wages above mine. People doing stem cell research or zoology, lawyers and interior designers… people doing proper adult jobs with proper adult wages, or off in Cambodia building orphenages, rubbing shoulders with hot tanned philanthropists and parachuting all over the place (this is a partly imagined scenario.)

– That I used to put on little shows with my friend where we pretended to be on the news, or members of the spice girls, or play doctor, or have an obsession with drawings of boobs in this book about pregnancy that was lying around the house.

– That I went through a brief phase of putting on this old woman voice (purely to entertain my mother, btw) and cackling about how my name was Mrs. Petunia Redmond and I was always stealing my own watch. I don’t remember how this came about but my mother regularly puts on the voice these days and asks me to “do Mrs. Petunia”, and this oftens occurs in front of people. And it’s weird. I’m not really that easily embarrassed but the fact that I don’t know what the fuck was going on in my head that I would pretend to be stealing my own watch, as well as the terrible quality of the joke and voice I put on… it does get embarassing. Let Mrs. Petunia die, please. All the clever shit I come out with, and Mrs. Petunia is what she remembers.

 

And that’s it for now. I’m in London now, just processing the last 2 weeks with my family, feeling pretty bloated after so many days eating dinner and…also drinking a lot.

Tomorrow is another day, and I’m in London now…

The accent….

Oh yeaaaahhhh….

 

Confirmation of adulthood, without the snippety snip

There are certain minor moments in life that catch you unawares- you realise you’re a grown up now, there’s no going back. I probably speak for myself here, because I was a messy irresponsible spoilt child. But I don’t care, it’s going to be in the second person anyway… deal.

Offering to pay for your mother’s lunch as well as your own, and insisting- really insisting- not the fake insist that grows feeble and trails off after your mother says “no don’t be ridiculous..” and you slide your wallet back into your bag, trying not to smirk, but having earned the good daughter points anyway. She tries to argue this time, and you knock her back. You may even sneakily pay while she’s in the bathroom. And the space in your wallet that money used to occupy feels hollow and awful. You imagine dresses and alcohol you could have owned and enjoyed, and you slightly begrudge your mother having had the soup AND the fish when she didn’t even finish her bread. Then it occurs to you, that maybe when you were a kid and you had to have dessert every fucking time you ate… and you were a greedy monster too, maybe it pained her to part with her money too. Holy shit, you think…. I never want to be a parent. How come parents don’t beat you more often, the shit they put up with? What a horrible life…..

….Saying no, I’m fine, I don’t want any more ice cream. This is a kind of responsibility I’ve only recently dabbled with. But it’s haunting. I remember eating until sweets until I puked, and knowing I was going to puke and still eating more sweets because if I didn’t, I’d miss out on eating some sweets. And that could never happen. Now I look at sweets, knowing how much I prefer having a decent figure, and how brief the sugar rush will be… and inside, the greedy child dies a little……

……Cleaning your toilet. Maybe you were made do this as a child, maybe you had to as part of a nasty and unfairly balanced cleaning rota in your student digs, or maybe you do it without thinking about it. But the first time I actually got down on my knees of my own volition, without previously having vomited all over it, and cleaned my fucking toilet, it dawned on me that life would never be the same again. Admittedly, life has pretty much carried on as it always did, and I have only cleaned the toilet a few times since the first brush-weilding rite of passage… but still, every time I don the yellow gloves, I remember the life of carefree innocence before my toilet cleaning days, and shed a tear that is only partly revulsion-induced…..

…..Paying bills. Every time I pay for fucking electricity…. my heart breaks a tiny bit. I still half feel like I should be posting/mailing the bills to my mother, and she should be sorting it out for me. Electricity and gas and heating… they don’t feel like things I should have to pay for. It’s like, my mother never seemed to mind paying for grown up needs and utilities, so why won’t she take care of mine for me? But then it dawns on me, she must have hated paying for it as much as I do. Maybe that’s why I got so much shtick about leaving lights on and the stereo on standby instead of off, and leaving the door open when the heating was on. I get it now… Oh no wait, it wasn’t to save money, it was cause she’s a freaking hippie. but still. Paying for necessary costs of living… it destroys the soul. I don’t believe in souls, but if there’s one thing I’ll say for Christianity, they have some awesomely dramatic turns of phrase….

….The first time you’re sick, and there’s no one there to take care of you that honestly gives a crap. Or maybe that’s the same moment you realise, why the fuck did you get married anyways? Or they are a bundle of shitty moments along with being sick and missing your mommy and your husband DID make you soup but it’s not your mum’s make you feel good soup and he’s not picking up your tissues and he wants you to get better so you’ll shower and smell less funky, more than for your own sake and happiness. Or else you’re husbandless and it doesn’t matter if you smell gross but there’s not even any soup.

And that’s when you start believing the shit about childhood being the best days of your life.